What Is an EORI Number? [UK & EU Business]

In this article, we’re answering “what is an EORI number? who needs one, and why they’re important.

This article is part of our free series on business banking, including how to find the best bank to open a business account in top jurisdictions around the world.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is an EORI Number?
  2. Who Needs an EORI Number?
  3. How to Apply For an EORI Number in the UK?
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Ready to Explore Your Options?

What Is an EORI Number?

An EORI number is what’s known as an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number or EORI for short. EORI is a unique identifier for businesses that are engaged in importing and exporting goods into and out of the EU and the UK. An EORI Number is obtained from your local customs authorities. 

Who Needs an EORI Number?

Who needs an EORI number is determined by where economic activities are being carried out. For example, businesses engaged in importing or exporting goods across borders in the EU or UK are often required to get an EOIR number.

That said, there are some exceptions. However, if you are making custom declarations, acting as a carrier, or established in a common transit country, an EORI is typically required.

For example, in the United Kingdom, businesses that need an EORI include businesses trading between the United Kingdom and the European Union (or other countries).

Additionally, business trading between Great Britain and the Channel Islands, or Northern Ireland may require an EORI. And business trading between Northern Ireland and the European Union may also require an EORI number.

However, EORI numbers are not always required. For example, businesses involved in the import or export of goods for personal consumption do not need an EORI. However, this is rarely the case for businesses.

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How to Apply For an EORI Number in the UK?

How to apply for an EORI number in the UK will depend on whether you have a UK company or a foreign company. In both instances, the company will need to complete an online application via the UK government website.

EORI Application Process

To complete the online form, business owners will need to submit their unique taxpayer reference number, industrial classification code (SIC), unique information from Companies House, VAT information, and access details to start the application.

As mentioned, foreign businesses also need to complete the same online form. However, these non-UK companies will not need to provide taxpayer references or industrial classification codes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people looking into what an EORI number is. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Where Do I Find My EORI Number?

You can find your EORI number by visiting your official government website, usually under customs services, and completing the online application. The application consists of providing both personal and business information and will be assigned to your company.

Do I Need an EORI Number if I Am VAT Registered?

Yes, you need an EORI number if you are VAT registered. This is because an EORI is required for cross-border trade activities in the EU and UK. With this in mind, any businesses engaged in import and export activities need an EORI irrespective of any other tax or corporate registration.

Is EORI the Same as the VAT Number?

No, EORI is not the same as a VAT number. Instead, an EORI is a company’s unique identifier that is used for cross-border trade while a VAT is strictly used for tax-related purposes.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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